Exhibition held at Macquarie University Library, Sydney, 25 September - 8 November 2006
Byzantium - Constantinople - Istanbul. These are all names which have been given to a city on the Western shores of the Bosphoros in present day Turkey. The area has been settled continually for more than two and a half thousand years. In the ancient world the city was known as Byzantium, while in 330 the Roman emperor Constantine the Great renamed it Constantinople. From 330 to 1453 Constantinople was the metropolis of the Greek Christian Byzantine Empire, and then from 1453 to the end of WWI it was the capital of the Ottoman Turkish Empire, known as Istanbul. It is a city with a long and fascinating history. Today the modern metropolis of Istanbul is a predominantly Islamic city which shows few outward signs of its Byzantine past and which means that most of its Byzantine monuments are still only known to specialists. The rediscovery of Byzantine culture and civilization in the twentieth century, and the growth of Byzantine Studies since WWII, have reinvigorated interest in the city of Constantinople, an interest that is at once spiritual and archaeological.